Tag: huntsville marathon

This should be my 2017 race schedule …

Okay, I think I’ve got my complete 2017 race schedule figured out.

I think.

Which is a definite maybe.

But, let me explain it a little bit. I have a race each month except December. I might add a race in December, but I am not planning on it. It’s a good rest month after a long year of running.

My busiest month is June. I have seven races planned for the month. Yes, seven. I have Ragnar during the first weekend, the Utah Valley Marathon on the 10th, the Bear Lake Trifecta (three half marathons in three days) the following week and then the Utah Midnight Run (Friday night) and AF Canyon Race Against Cancer (Saturday morning) the following weekend.

I have three total back-to-back races planned. My first being the Salt Flats 50K (April 28) and Tulip Festival (April 29), Utah Midnight Run (June 23) and AF Canyon Race Against Cancer (June 24) and then the Utah Midnight Run (July 7) and Hobbler Half (July 8).

The biggest of those back-to-backs the April one with my 50K and half marathon. Not sure how that’s going to go, but I am betting I’ll walk a lot of the Tulip Festival Half. A lot.

In total I have 32 races planned — 23 half marathons, 5 marathons, 2 ultra marathons, a 25K and the Ragnar Relay. This includes one indoor race, 5 trail races and the rest road races.

Lots of running.

And, if you’re trying to estimate miles — that’s about 525-530 miles. Just in racing miles.

So, yeah — it’s going to be a big mileage year.

Anyways here is my schedule … what’s on your schedule?

RACE #131: Huntsville Marathon

You know, I never thought I would say this — but, I kinda love running marathons. The half marathon is still my favorite, but I really love the challenge of the marathon. Everything from the training to actually running of the race — it’s so different from any less distanced race.

Marathons have been pretty hard for me to run. I am not a fast runner — I am always one of the last runners out there on the course. I used to care about that, but really when it comes to marathons — who cares? It’s an accomplishment just FINISHING the race. I think that’s why I love sweeping races so much. It’s like a mini-mission for me — it’s important to me that those in the back understand that whatever that clock says doesn’t diminish their accomplishment.

All runners matter.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

Anyways, going into the Huntsville Marathon I didn’t have much of a goal other than finish. Considering I ran Revel Big Cottonwood the week before I didn’t know what to expect, because I’ve never ran two marathons within a week of each other. I guess my only goal was to do my best and push myself throughout the race, especially since I was using these marathons as training runs for my 50 miler.

I have never ran the Huntsville Marathon, but I did run the half marathon back in 2014 when most of the last half of the race was spent in a down pour. A down pour that I’d probably put on par with what was experienced at this year’s Ogden Marathon. It was the kind of down pour you could have taken your post race shower mid-race.

When I ran the half marathon I wasn’t impressed much with the course — everything else I loved about the race. The community support, volunteers and organization is right there with the Ogden, St. George and Big Cottonwood Marathons. And, I have no doubt it will get there — this was the fifth year of the marathon and it’s definitely a hidden gem to the local running community.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

My friend Robert Merriman — aka “The Naked Canadian” — has ran the marathon each of the past five years and has told me the full marathon route is much better than the half marathon route. Not only is it faster, but the scenery is unmatched. This was one of the reasons why I chose Huntsville over Top of Utah and a few other marathons.

And, I wasn’t disappointed.

The Huntsville Marathon has a bit of a later start than most local races — the marathon started at 8am compared to last week’s 6:45am start at Big Cottonwood. In the past the start was around 9am or so. I am not sure why the late start? I think part of it could be the travel required for most of the runners?

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I was a bit worried about the later start because being a slower runner I didn’t want to be caught in the heat of the afternoon. But, that concern wasn’t much of an issue for me. There was a constant cool mountain breeze except for a two mile stretch right after existing the canyon. I was pleasantly surprised, but shouldn’t have been considering it’s Wasatch Back country.

After catching my bus at 6:30am up the canyon I caught up with the Roberts (Merriman and Merkley) at the starting line. As mentioned before this was Robert Merriman’s fifth running of the marathon, but Robert Merkley decided to sign up for the race just a couple of days beforehand. It should also be noted that both of the Roberts ended up PRing on the course.

As I stood at the starting line I still didn’t know what to expect from this race. I did a good enough job shaking out my legs and working out smart during the week — so my legs felt somewhat fresh. But, I knew that could change at any moment of the race. Still, I just wanted to do and give my best, whatever that was.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

When the gun sounded the first mile was horrible. It might have been my overeager desire to go out fast or killer playlist? Either way, my body wanted to remind me what we did the previous week by giving my a couple of sore shinsplints.

Having dealt with shinsplints before I knew that I just needed to keep going and just push through the pain. Within time — be a couple of minutes or miles — they’d be gone. If running has taught me anything over the years it’s how to manage and deal with pain. Before I started running, if I hurt — I’d stop. No matter the degree of pain.

But, over the past 5-6 years I’ve learned in order to get over pain — you have to go through it. Most pain is relatively easy to get through and over time the body adjusts to it so that you don’t feel it at that stage anymore. Other pain just has to be endured with the hope it will subside in time — which is strangely the case for most long distances.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

Now of course — that means nothing unless you also learn to listen to your body. I’ve also had to learn when to stop and which pain needs more attention or rest than others. Back in 2012 I ran two half marathons after getting some stress fractures at the St. George Marathon — that was dumb. It took me out of running for about a month. But, hey, it also introduced me to Hoka One Ones so it wasn’t that bad.

Anyways — I pushed through the shinsplints and by the first aid station at Mile 2 I was fine. It helped being absolutely mesmerized with the scenery. I tried stopping to take pictures of it, but hardly any of the pictures did it justice. It was hard to believe that “THIS” was literally in my backyard, I felt like I was in a completely different state. The rolling mountains on each direction and eye popping fall colors put me in complete awe.

The crowd of runners thinned out fairly quickly within the first 4-5 miles — I yo-yo’d with a couple of runners until I pulled away around miles 9-10. I took pride in this, because not only was I feeling good, but I was feeling strong — so whenever I saw a runner ahead of me I just focused on catching and passing them.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

Once I got to about the half way point I was completely alone. I blazed down the canyon in about 2:43 hours, not a bad time. I couldn’t see any runners ahead of me or behind me. The odd feeling was knowing not only did I still have half of the race left to run, but that I wasn’t even the last runner. I’m not going to lie, I kinda enjoyed the feeling.

As mile 14, 15, 16, 17 passed I still great. I even attempted a couple of jumping pictures around mile 17. I didn’t crumple into a heaping mess so that gave me some hope. It was around this time that I was feeling a sub-6 marathon was doable. Even though I don’t care much about my marathon times, this was a goal I felt I could push myself to — so I pushed an extra bit harder.

Being the only runner in sight I took the liberty to belt out singing to my heart’s content. I usually don’t do sing running unless I’m on the dreadmill at home or absolutely alone. And, there’s a reason for that — I can’t carry a tune to save my life. And, I completely mean that. I sound something like a dying seagull being gummed to death by a toothless shark.

It’s bad.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

But, being alone on the course I just got into my music and started dancing and singing to whatever the ‘shuffle’ brought me next. At one point I was into the greatest rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody of all-time And, I mean — ALL. TIME. I was singing to the top of my lungs while also playing the drums, keyboard and air guitar while managing to lead the orchestra.

It was a masterpiece.

Unbeknownst to me a police officer patrol the course must have seen this masterpiece of mine and stopped me to ask if I was okay. Of course I wasn’t — it was around Mile 18-19, I hadn’t seen any other runners for miles and I was left alone to my own devices. But, I assured him I was okay and hoped he thought my display of artistic excellence was me just running into a swarm of gnats.

But, I just kept going. I did start feeling “THE WALL” around mile 21-22 when we exited the main road down the canyon into Huntsville. I knew this was probably going to happen because the course flattens out quite drastically.

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I tried keeping my stride going, but soon it was apparent that stride turned itself into the marathon death shuffle. The heat was starting to be felt and I was praying for that cool canyon breeze to start blowing again. I felt like death and I knew it something didn’t change the last few miles would be pure hell.

Luckily, my prayer was answered and a breeze started blowing again. This gave me a boost of energy and a bit of a kick in my step. So, I just kept pushing myself forward. I kept my walking at mile markers and the 0.1 between the marathon and half marathon signs. Outside of that it was either the marathon death march or my attempt at mall walking.

I knew I was getting closer to the finish line because of my experience running the half marathon before and I just couldn’t run fast enough. At the last aid station they started pulling the orange cones off the course which made me a bit worried, because the last thing I wanted to happen was to make this marathon into an unintentional ultra marathon.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

The last part of the course was somewhat familiar not just from half marathon, but my first leg at Ragnar this year as well. I didn’t realize that until I crossed the highway and notice the familiar gas station I ran past. It’s funny has running has shrunk the world around me.

Though the cones were gone the race did a great job in marking the course. Since the marathon/half marathon, 10K and 5K courses differed they marked the road in different paint color. I just followed them until I saw the finish line arch. I felt like a graceful galloping race horse running down the homestretch of the race — though in reality I looked more like an exhausted clydesdale that was about to be made into glue.

But, I made it! The remaining volunteers were so encouraging as I crossed the finish line. They congratulated me on my accomplishment, handing me some water and escorted me to the finisher’s corral where they handed me some of the best chocolate milk, grapes — and course bananas — I’ve ever had.

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

If there is anything I will remember about this race it will be the volunteers. I have NEVER ran a race with so many engaging, warm, sincere and encouraging volunteers than this race. I am sure many of them are locals and you could tell that they took pride in showing off their hometown. I even got shouts of encouragement from volunteers and locals as I walked (slowly) back to my car after the race.

As a runner and visitor to the community you couldn’t have asked for better support. I am sure this was the same feeling many runners got when the St. George Marathon started 40 years ago. The town loves this race and it will be fun to see how it grows as more and more runners discover this beautiful and well organized race.

After reveling in the accomplishment for a while, I just sat in my car mustering up the courage to start driving. It was about a 45 minute drive and I just prayed I didn’t get a cramp mid-drive — that’s happened to be before and it’s not fun. But, I luckily I made it home with a minor detour to 7 Eleven for a much needed and deserved 7 Eleven.

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The plan this week is to lay off the running for a bit. I am going to focus on cross training — do a little cycling (stationary of course) and then of course my typical weight training. My body needs a little rest from running and I can feel that after this weekend’s marathon. I’ll still do my planned 8-9 miler next weekend during the AIIA Relay before getting back into the swing heading into St. George the following week.

I am a month away from my 50 miler — and I couldn’t be more excited, nervous and ready to just tackle this thing. I am ready to push my limits and do something once thought impossible. It’s going to be tough, it’s going to be pure hell at moments, but I can’t wait for the experience. It might take me the whole 19.5 hours to do the whole 50, but who cares? As long as I finish that’s my whole goal and dream.

And, finish I will!


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I have no time goal for the St. George Marathon other than making sure I get to the cut off at 1pm. Which in my previous runnings of the marathon — shouldn’t be a problem. I am just excited to be running the marathon — it’s definitely one of my favorite marathons. I am home among the red rocks of southern Utah.

This marathon is very technical — and if you’re not ready (or even prepared) Veyo Hill, and the following 4-5 miles before the descent down Snow Canyon, can be rather tough. The last time I ran the marathon Veyo Hill wasn’t the issue, because I knew what I was getting myself into, but the miles after the put me through agony. It was cramp after cramp.

I would like to finish around 6 hours, but that’s mainly because I don’t want to die in the heat of St. George. But, really, the game plan will be a lot like Huntsville — do my best and keep pushing. That’s mainly because that’s going to be my 50 miler game plan.

I’m just ready to get through this 50 miler! But, first I’ve got to get through St. George and Park City.

133 - park city red rock relay 134 - pony express trail 50 135 - haunted half provo


2667in2016

RUNNING MILES

225.0 miles

RACE MILES

261.5 miles

WALKING MILES

1095.34 miles

TOTAL MILES TO DATE

1581.84 miles

MILES TO GOAL

1085.16 miles


WEEKENDGRAMS

Phone shopping. #selfiepicturesmatter

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on



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My 50 Mile Training Plan …

50 Mile Training Plan

I am getting really excited for the Pony Express 50 in October — sure it’s still 7 months away — but, I am getting really, really excited to just tackle the crap out of it.

I would do it tomorrow if I knew I could — well, I am sure I could — but, I’d be one hot mess if I tried. I am simply not prepared to tackle it physically, mentally and emotionally. I have this vision of myself laying in face down in ditch with tears of mascara pouring down my face because of my extremely poor decision.

So, yeah, that won’t be me.

This is one reason I have been going back to a half marathon training plan. I want to rebuild my base — I want to be able to not struggle through a half marathon. I want to do it with ease — or relative ease — like I used to a couple years ago. And, then I want to build onto that base with running marathons and eventually the 50 miler.

I am sure I could have thrown myself into training now and done an earlier race — but, I want to do this right. Mainly, because I don’t trust my training right now. Last year took a lot out of me — from my legs to core. And, I’ve got to get that back.

Anyways — below you’ll find how I put together my training plan — and my actual training plan. If you’re running your first ultra marathon — maybe this will help? But, just remember, I put this together for me. If you’re looking for a good plan I have some good links below.

YEAH ULTRA RUNNING!!!


HOW I AM CONSTRUCTING MY TRAINING PLAN 

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I used a couple of training plans — since I am training for the St. George Marathon and the Pony Express 50 I tried to intermingle a marathon and 50 mile training plan into one. Since I am not a very fast runner — the training plan is more about mileage than pacing, splits and all that jazz.

But, I used the Hal Higdon Marathon Novice 2 Training Plan and a mixture of two 50 mile training plans — Hal Koerner’s Field Guide to Ultrarunning, UltraLadies Running Club and Runner’s World Ultimate Ultramarathon Training Plan.

I didn’t really find an authoritative training plan for a 50 miler — which is okay, mainly because I will have to bastardize my marathon training plan some to also prepare for the 50 miler. The key more than anything is to get my miles in — and be prepared mentally, emotionally and physically for the run.

To prepare for all of that I am focusing on a few of my looooong 20 milers to be doozies. I want them to be tough. I actually got this idea from Jill — and I love the idea of mentally and physically making those runs HELL for me.

In August I have two 20 mile training runs planned. The first on the weekend of the 13th and the second on the 27th. The one of the 13th I am planning on doing on a treadmill — and that’s not all. I am planning on starting at midnight after staying up since 4am the day before. I want to experience the fatigue and mental strain that those latter miles are going to bring me.

Plus, I just love crazy.

The run on the 27th I haven’t decided on yet — it’s one of two runs. I was thinking of either running the indoor track at my Rec Center in Bountiful. It’s a small, small, small track that adds up to like 4-5 trips around per mile. I like the idea of the mental strain.

Or — I am going to an ALL up hill 20 miler. That sounds fun and crazy. There was a 20 miler up Emigration Canyon that Becky and I did a couple years while preparing for the Ogden Marathon that was a killer uphill.

Either way — stay on hold to see what the 27th will entail. But, the goal is to kick my trash in all areas where I want to get stronger. And, of course — if you want to join in the adventure you’re more than welcome to join me! Especially on my treadmill training run!

But, also of note — I have three marathons on my race docket as well — the Big Cottonwood, Huntsville and St. George Marathons. That’s a marathon every other week — which will be tough mentally and physically.

But, I am sweeping the Big Cottonwood Marathon and am planning on truly racing the St. George Marathon. I am treating Huntsville as a training run. So it will be somewhere in between racing pace and sweeping pace. Whatever that means.

Anyways — I am getting excited … and nervous, but that’s normal and I am pretty stoked about it. If you have any tips or suggestions for what else I can — please by all means let me know! I’d love your advice.


MY TRAINING PLAN SCHEDULE

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Like I’ve mentioned before — I am not a training or a running coach — but, if this works for you, go ahead and use it. It’s tailored towards me, but if it helps you … GREAT!

Just know it’s a lot of running. It’s 300+ miles just in looooong training runs! That excites and scares me all in one emotion! I LOVE IT!

I can’t wait until October 21st!

Here are the long runs —

NOTE: This does not include my fitness/running plan for the following 22 weeks. The meat of that will change the closer I am to the race and will depend on my fitness levels according to my goals. But, most of my running during the week will be outside around Bountiful either on the roads or trails.

June 4: Bountiful Temple Run (8 miles)
June 11: Drop 13 Big Cottonwood Half Marathon (13.1 miles)
June 18-19: Ragnar Relay: Wasatch Back (~13.1-15 miles)
June 25: AF Canyon Race Against Cancer (13.1 miles)
July 2: 13 Miles of Freedom Half Marathon (13.1 miles)
July 9: Bountiful Temple Run (8 miles)
July 16: Emigration Canyon to Liberty Park (12 miles)
July 23: Handcart Days Half Marathon (13.1 miles)
July 25: Deseret News Half Marathon (13.1 miles)
July 30: Timp Half (13.1 miles)
August 6: Legacy Parkway Trail (15 miles)
August 13: Treadmill Madness (20 miles)
August 20: Big Cottonwood Canyon (12 miles)
August 27: TBA (20 miles)
September 3: Nebo Half (13.1 miles)
September 10: Big Cottonwood Marathon (26.2 miles)
September 17: Huntsville Marathon (26.2 miles)
September 24: Goldilocks Half Marathon (13.1 miles)
October 1: St. George Marathon (26.2 miles)
October 8: Emigration Canyon to Hogle Zoo (10 miles)
October 15: Bountiful Temple Run (8 miles)
October 21-22: Pony Express 50 Mile Run (50 miles)


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RACE RECAP #76: Huntsville Half Marathon

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I really try not to take my running for granted. Each race is a gift. Each race is a triumph and a victory. But, at the same time, each race is a party and yet another race to count towards my 180 goal. I don’t want to let these races blend together to be forgotten, especially this next upcoming eight weeks when I am races every weekend.

I was really excited to run the Huntsville Half because of what I have heard from a number of my running friends. The marathon course is a fast course down Monte Christo in the Morgan valley-ish area (I am actually probably way off on that, but I didn’t drive to the race start and I am too lazy to look it up on Google Maps) that is notoriously beautiful especially during this time of the year. The half course is the second half of the marathon which isn’t downhill. It’s mainly rolling hills and farm country. But, nonetheless gorgeous and pretty.

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You can see why this is a favorite race to run in the autumn. Just ignore those gray clouds.

The one thing that I have found out about races is that you can prepare for what’s ahead of you … namely the hills, the turns, the stretches and the challenging aspects of each course. But, you never know exactly how the challenge will play out until the element of the weather is known. And, sure you can plan for it a few days out, but until you’re there IN the weather IN the moment … you don’t know how it’s really going to effect you.

That was kind of my race experience last Saturday.

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I kinda like this artsy fartsy picture of us getting on the bus.

Of all the times that I have raced in the rain, I’ve never really had a very good experience. At the Salt Lake Half last year I lost function of my hands at the last aid station and had to have the help of a volunteer to handfeed my Powerade and then I had to have my Mom drive me and my car back because I was shivering too much and still couldn’t use my hands properly.

Then there was the Ogden Half where I was soaked to the bone and didn’t bring a change of clothes so change into while I waited for Susette to finish the marathon. Luckily I had an oversized hoodie stashed in my drop bag, which I ended up curling up into for a couple hours waiting. Luckily, I wasn’t as cold as I was from Salt Lake, but it was miserable.

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Heather downing her AWESOME DELICIOUS pre-race drink. The face says it all, right?

Then, there was this year’s 30K back in April. I almost don’t even want to write about it, because I still have PTSD from it. There is nothing joyful about running in cold, wet rain for over 18 miles and then experiencing a “mild” case of hypothermia. If it wasn’t for St. Sonja and St. Becky saving me, I’d probably be dead. Oh gosh, I still remember that corner where I wanted to die.

But, I guess it really comes down to this though fact … I make bad decisions. But, I try very hard NOT to. I really do. But, it seems as though as much as I try not to, I do anyways. This right here is why life isn’t fair.

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I love this lady. Susette is the best!

When preparing for the Huntsville Half this week, I knew it was going to rain. So I prepared accordingly. I made sure I reinforced my manboob bandaids with surgical tape, I brought a couple of hats (yes, two, I might have problems) and jackets depending on the severity of the weather and I had a pair of gloves just in case. I even threw in a garbage bag in my dropbag in case I needed that as well.

I felt ready. I felt good about it. So when I got to the buses with my friends St. Sonja and Heather and saw the constant rain I felt confident that I’d be okay. But, confidence should never be trusted. In fact it can be very misleading at times. And, on Saturday, I was very much deceived.

Luckily at the starting line it was fairly warm. The rain was a constant, but it wasn’t that cold and horrible rain I very much despise. But, I felt ready. I even swapped out my garbage bag for a poncho and I ditched the jacket because it was warm enough to go without it. Feeling ready I stuck with my game plan of just running. Give it a great effort, but don’t OVER do it because of St. George next week.

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Ran into some of the ladies from Weber in Motion. I shared my story with them this past March before the Ogden Marathon! These ladies are AWESOME!

So as the race started I just stood on the side of the road cheering on runners going and then joined in the parade at the end. I was in no rush, no PR goal or anything. I just needed a good challenging 13.1 miles for the day. Which I ended up with, but not exactly how I expected going about it.

The rain was a constant challenge throughout the course. There were a few 10-15 windows of light drizzle, but there weren’t any breaks in the clouds at all. I was fine with this, because I felt prepared. I felt ready. And, I was just running and enjoying the scenery.

I was expecting the course to be a little bit more downhill and it was anything but. It was hilly and rolling. I didn’t mind it that much in fact I welcomed it, because I knew it would just prepare for Veyo Hill and the LOVELY preceding rolling hills in St. George. Plus, downhill alone doesn’t prepare one for PRs and speed.

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This face does no justice to how I felt.

But, around mile 7-8 I started going downhill (a metaphorical one). I felt the growth of a blister coming on my big toe because my shoes got DRENCHED from the constant rain. Surprisingly, I never have really had a problem with blisters in the rain, but for some reason that day was the day to have problems. I tried to push through it and just kept running.

The pain was getting pretty intolerable and around mile 9.5 I knew I couldn’t push myself that much harder, because I didn’t want to ruin my feet before my marathon. Not wanting to just give up THERE, I told myself that I would stop at the mile 10 aid station, find someone to run with and then just take it nice and easy.

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I really like this shot. But, I don’t like the feeling I had when I took this shot.

So I stopped at the aid station and got a bandaid on my blister. It was pretty nasty. I also discovered a couple more blisters forming on the bottom of my rain soaked foot. Not fun. So, I kind of just took my time at the aid station. I drank a lot of water and Gatorade and ate a bunch of cinnamon devil gummies. It was perfect.

Just as I got up to start get going I found the person that I ran the rest of the race with. I know this sounds funny, but I don’t believe in coincidences especially with people you run into out on the course. Some of my dearest friends I’ve met by simply sharing a quick joke at a hill or as I was passing by. You never know when you’re going to make your next friend. I love that about running. I’m sure that’s applicable in other areas of life, but I’m biased towards running and have no shame about that.

Anyways, this runner’s name was Becky and she even asked to run with me. Knowing I was looking for someone to run with, I couldn’t say no. This was her fourth half marathon and was no stranger to the rain as she had ran the Salt Lake Half Marathon last year as well. We shared a bit about our stories in how we got into running. We cursed the rain and just tried to drudge along in the rain.

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Becky and I post race. She’s got the selfie look down!

When we got to mile 11 the rain was at a monsoon level. I felt like if I brought a wash cloth and soap I could have easily and effectively showered right there and then. I was running in the shower. It was crazy. I was just grateful it wasn’t freezing rain.

At one point Becky told me to go ahead of her, but I really had no reason to go run ahead. Besides the blisters in my foot would have had none of that. So we just kept running together. Once the finish line was in view I did take off ahead of her as I ripped off my shirt and finished shirtless. I felt it was fitting since the nickname of this race is the Full Monte. Plus, I just hate clothes anyways … but that’s a post for another day. Really it is.

Once I was done and got my medal I grabbed a couple of bananas and just beelined back to St. Sonja’s car to leave. I wanted to stay a bit longer and cheer in my friends running the marathon, especially the first timers, but I was exhausted and my feet hurt. I was spent. I was done.

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Race #76 on the books!

Despite the stupid blisters I actually really enjoyed the race. My first eight miles were actually really good. I felt strong and ready for St. George. But, I am somewhat grateful for the rain, because if it wasn’t for those blisters I probably would have never met Becky. It’s funny how things happen like that in life, isn’t it?

Sure I finished in over 3:15, but I am okay with that. That 3:15 doesn’t reflect my early mileage effort and the friendship that I made at mile 10. That is why running is and isn’t always a measurable thing. But, again, that’s a post for another day.

My focus now is on St. George. This will be my last marathon of the year and probably my last marathon in a while. I am saying this, but I am still trying to convince myself that I am actually going to do it. But, seriously, I need to just focus on half marathons next year, especially as I look forward towards my sub-two goal.

Anyways … ST. GEORGE OR BUST!


Total Mileage Breakdown for 2014

2014 Training Miles – 495.5 miles
2014 Walking Miles – 116.4 miles
2014 Race Miles – 333.2 miles
2014 Total Miles – 941.1 miles
 
Monthly Total Miles for 2014
January – 100.0 miles
February – 100.0 miles
March – 130.0 miles
April – 140.5 miles
May – 108.65 miles
June – 83.3 miles
July – 93.75 miles
August – 118.2 miles
September – 86.55 miles

Fartlek Friday XL: The XL stands for 40, not just the size of my shirt.

FF_FridayFRIDAY! FRIDAY! FRIDAY! After a week of no running this week made up for it. I still have a lingering cough, but other than that I am fine and rearing to run the Huntsville Half Marathon tomorrow morning. I also started a new competition at my gym this past Wednesday.

It’s a 12 week, clean eating and exercise program that will take until December 23rd. So, yep, that goes over the holidays.All of them. It should be a good challenge. I know it will be tough, but doable.

I need the challenge, especially now that I have gotten my thyroid under control and the weight it starting to come off easier. Besides wanting to lose the 25-30lbs I gained over the summer, I really want to get faster in my running. That in which should happen since I will be running eight races within the next seven weeks. Then of course the Thankful Half on Thanksgiving.

Hopefully, I should see some improvement in the upcoming weeks. VERY HOPEFUL about the next 12 weeks and yes, it’s a competition … sooooooo … I want to win as well. I’ll keep you updated along the way.

Mentally, I need this challenge. I’ll also blog a little bit more about the challenge. But, if you want to follow me along I will be posting all of my food, exercise, etc. on MyFitnessPal. So if you’d like to befriend me, let’s stalk each other!

Anyways, I’m really excited about running tomorrow. It’s an awesome downhill half. I just hope I’ve got the legs underneath me to fly. We shall see … But, in the meantime here are a few things that caught my attention this past week …

  • These have been saving my life as of late.
  • Um, this is a definite need.
  • I was watching Bubble Guppies with Koko while she was eating her dinner. After the episode was over I found her like this. Odds are I watched over half of the episode by myself.
  • Speaking of Bubble Guppies, I kinda like this song. It gets stuck in my head more often than not.
  • Oh, the cuteness exudes! I really should hop onto this parent thing.
  • Absolutely love this! Everyone should read it too!
  • I made some Maple Bar RKs the other night for a few friends of mine. I haven’t eaten any since I am bringing Sexy Josh back. I might try one tomorrow BEFORE my race. Might.
  • Speaking of Rice Krispy Treats. This is pretty much what I think about Snap, Crackle and Pops’ version. I want to challenge them to a RK bake off.
  • Remember how I am on a diet? Yeah … I shouldn’t have seen these. Looks like I’ll save this list for Fall 2015.
  • Again, I’m glad I am on a diet.
  • I have always loved Steve Smith. I remember his days at the U. I just hate the fact that he’s on the Ravens. I don’t know why I hate the Ravens so much? I just never have (well and they beat the 49ers in the Super Bowl a couple years ago … reason enough, I guess?).
  • Speaking of the Steve Smith era and the U. I was at this game back in 2000. It was LaVell Edwards last game and five days before I went to the MTC to start my LDS mission. The ups and downs of this game nearly killed me!
  • Speaking of BYU football and BYU TV. I always find it funny that BYU TV only plays games where BYU won. Sure it’s their network, but stop portraying BYU as an unbeatable team.
  • I should probably stop there, heaven knows we don’t want to start a Utah-BYU fan bicker-fest. The least enjoyable thing about the rivalry. I’m kind of glad that the two teams are taking a timeout from each other.
  • Odd fact about me. Though I am a Utah fan, I grew up IDOLIZING Ty Detmer. So much to the point that I changed my name in school to Ty Hansen. It was pretty much for the whole 4th grade that I did this. I’m kind of sad that I didn’t follow through with this going into the 5th grade.
  • Which is all said and good, because my brother from a polygmist mother is also called Ty Hansen …. AAANNNNNDDDDD … if I was ever going to change my name back to Ty it would be because of him and not Detmer.
  • I don’t know why, but all of the sudden I feel like I should move to New York City.
  • Well, okay, I don’t know if I’d want to move to New York City. I’ve been there once. I kinda scared me. Let me count you the reasons why …
    • There are equal amount of pigeons to people (meaning a lot), which means there is probably four times the amount of rats.
    • This happened while we were walking towards Midtown. It was probably more freaking watching a mass of humanity head our way screaming, because they thought it was a terrorist attack. It was unnerving for sure.
    • Body odor on the subway … um … yeah … so gross.
    • I hate the Yankees.
    • The constant sound of people honking their car horns. PLEASE STOP IT PEOPLE! There are over 7 million of you living there, traffic is going to be PACKED. If you aren’t moving, there likely isn’t anything the person in front of you can do about it. So just relax.
  • But, for what it’s worth I love visiting the place ever so often for these reasons …
    • New York Pizza is just … just … heaven (don’t worry Chicago, I haven’t forgotten about you … all pizza goes to heaven, right?).
    • I kinda like the New York Mets. It’s actually more complicated than that to understand if you are less than a casual sports fan. I am a fan of the National League in New York City. This includes the Mets, but also the history of the New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers. I have their history fascinating. This is one reason why I am a San Francisco Giants fan.
    • I’d love to run the New York City Marathon at some point in my life.
    • I love Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty and what it means to not just the American story, but to my family as well.
    • And, of course I love all the other historical and meaningful buildings in the city. History is such a fun thing to explore and learn.
  • But, yeah, so there’s my issues with New York City. Very much a … “lovely city to visit, but never live there.”
  • I absolutely love tattoos, I think I’ve mentioned this here. Personally, I would never get one, but I love the stories and artwork behind many of them. That’s why these Disney tattoos caught my attention the other day. Awesome!
  • I have no reason to post this article, but I do want to say that I really love the United Kingdom’s Union Jack flag design. That’s all. I thought you should know that.
  • My top three flags have to be as follows …
    • U.S.A.
    • United Kingdom
    • Greece
  • And, if we were picking US State flags … um …
    • Texas
    • Maryland
    • Hawaii
  • Oh, my OCD … the agony!
  • I love the world of Apple.
  • Speaking of Apple, here’s an article about apples.
  • I am not even a parent, but these have me cracking up! Should I be concerned?
  • So I made this sandwich the other day. So far this new diet is delicious! I absolutely love Dave’s Killer Bread!
  • I really do hope that one day Seattle gets the Sonics back. I was actually in Seattle the day that the Sonics’ move to OKC was made final.
  • The saddest part for me is that I actually love watching the OKC Thunder play and to think this could have all been happening in Seattle stings. Sonic fans deserve that team.
  • Um? Speechless.
  • These Tinder responses are making me laugh like no other … HAHAHAHA!
  • I like these.
  • So my friends from Vegas came up this past week and after nearly six months I finally met their kid. You can just tell he is just as thrilled as I am to finally meet.
  • Speaking of friends and babies. My college roommate and close friend’s wife had a kid over a month ago and I just found out about this week. Which is very odd because both he and his wife are fairly active on Facebook. How did I miss this? I am a horrible friend and my Facebook stalking skills have apparently diminished.
  • That same couple I am still trying to have them call one of their kids after me. One of these days. One of these days.
  • Well according to this quiz my future profession is meant to be that of a Professional Puppy Sitter. I’m okay with that granted I don’t have to pick up the poop.
  • Ehhhh … the more I am thinking about this, the more I am realizing I will probably have to clean up poop. I don’t think I want that job anymore?
  • Oooo … oooo … oooo … I want to be a jelly bean taste tester at the Jelly Belly factory. That’s my calling in life right there.
  • I better also keep up with the running so I don’t get the DIABEETUS.
  • I linked to this blog LAST week. Looks like BuzzFeed just found it. Score one for Joshua!
  • I don’t know what to think about this? You want to knee jerk and say it’s because the driver was black, but then on the other hand maybe it was a jumpy rookie officer? I don’t know? Both? I am just glad the driver wasn’t killed.
  • Oh heavens, I love this. Especially #11, #17 and #20.
  • I now want bacon pancakes … DANG YOU DIET!!!
  • This is basically one reason why I hate Halloween. Like I really do hate it. Sans the candy corn of course.
  • I kinda found this article about coffee interesting.
  • LIAM NEESON!!!
  • JUDGE JUDY!!!
  • DOGS!!!
  • RAMEN NOODLES!!!
  • SHRIMP!!!
  • ANIMALS!!!
  • FOLIAGE!!!
  • FUTURE BACON!!!
  • I don’t know what to think about with this whole Bill Simmons and ESPN thing. I don’t get wrapped up much into the TV stuff (mainly because I don’t watch TV), but I can see both sides of the story.
  • Ultimately … I just shrug and move along. No reason for ME to worked up on something that doesn’t involve me.
  • A friend of mine keeps on wanting me to watch Friends, this might be another reason why I should
  • I kind of imagine that when an armadillo is born it kind of rolls out in a ball…
  • These are poop stories, so you’ve been forewarned once you click on that link. Oh the horror! I never want to poop my pants. Ever. (actually that should be read, “ever again.”)
  • Of course Utah’s signature food is funeral potatoes. And, here I thought there was a chance we would get green Jell-O.
  • So, speaking of Jell-O … I used to really, really, really love Jell-O, but just in the last couple of years I’ve really grown to hate it. I don’t know what it is? I kind of feel like I am betraying my Utahhood by admitting this. Just whatever you do, don’t tell my Grandma.
  • Well, this seems like a problem.
  • Yeah … maybe I don’t want kids? Creepy.
  • So, I won’t lie, I think I’d rather just eat the lobster. Does that make me a horrible person? Of course not. Just someone that hasn’t eaten for a couple hours.
  • I need a snack.
  • Wowzers, this list is long. That just means it’s going to be an awesome Friday! Well, or that if you have time to click through all of these links a very slow and lazy Friday. Here’s hoping for … both?!

Welp, that’s it for me today! Have a great weekend! And, as always … HAPPY RUNNING!!!